I have to admit, I loves me some Halo. Funnily enough, a game that puts a lot of emphasis on multiplayer is one that I happily play solo, buddying up for some fire fight action now and again but mostly I jump, shoot and squat all by myself. So you can imagine my excitement when Halo 4 was announced at E3. I was one of the lucky few who didn’t know it was coming so soon was wasn’t expecting it but was fully prepared for the remastered version of Master Chief’s first adventure, Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary.
This November, Halo reaches its tenth birthday, hence the HD rerelease, and in that time the video game industry has changed dramatically thanks to the dominance of motion controls. The Wii arguably started it, Sony bettered it and Microsoft took away the controller all together, which is said to enhance certain games. You know, the whole ‘Better with Kinect’ tagline? With so many Kinect devices sold, it’s no wonder Microsoft are ramping up support and Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary is one of the first-party titles complete with Kinect integration. How? Right now, no-one really knows as the public only found out after Microsoft Games Studio head, Phil Spencer, gave an interview with Gamespot. Speaking about E3 as a whole, he said the companies aims this year was to talk of all the hardcore Kinect titles on the way. Games like Forza 4 and Ryse and “even games like Halo Anniversary.”
You can imagine the initial horror which springs to mind from the hardest of hardcore gamers. Controller-less Halo with hand-gestured shooting and Joy Ride-style Warthog driving. But in reality, it’s more probable that Kinect in Halo with be for things like grenade tossing or possibly melee attacks. And like Mass Effect 3 which also includes Kinect, you can guarantee the whole thing will be optional.
I’m all for developers finding interesting ways to introduce Kinect in traditional experiences. The way BioWare is doing it is exactly how motion-control should find their way into core games. But that’s still just the start. It’s when playing a game using both controller and Kinect feels seamless and not jarring, that’s what I want to see and fingers crossed, it’s what we will be seeing come next year’s E3 instead of the slightly awkward implementation in Ghost Recon this year. And does Halo, as a first person shooter, really need Kinect? Probably not. But I’m glad it’s being considered at least. Though if I find out waggling is being grotesquely forced into one of my favourite franchises, I’ll take it all back!